Musician Andrew Scotchie was just 16 years old when his father suddenly passed away. During the difficult time that followed, he immersed himself in music and found comfort through a supportive community of mentors and fellow musicians.
It wasn’t long before he and his high school friends created a space for other young musicians to feel encouraged, a mini-festival on family land called Asheville Barnaroo. “It was our chance to be heard and, at the same time, give back to the music community we respected so much by hosting a place where music of all kinds could be found,” says Andrew. He leads the band Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats.
Featuring local and regional rock ‘n roll, hard rock, and funk music, Asheville Barnaroo will take place September 26–27 at Franny’s Farm in Leicester. Saturday features performances by a dozen bands, including Les Amis (with members of Toubab Krewe and Zansa), Lyric, The Paper Crowns, and Laura Blackley, among others. Guests can camp on site and wake up to acoustic performers on Sunday morning. Food by Farm to Fender food truck and beer from Hi-Wire Brewing will also be available.
Since the first event in 2009, the festival has seen enormous success and growth, relocating from family land to Franny’s Farm in 2013, adding the option for guests to camp, and featuring a larger lineup of regional acts. “We don’t want to be a giant festival. We want to be a unique festival,” says Andrew. “Growth is important, but we want to always have our core values: be in touch with our audience and be community focused.” In addition to entertainment, there will also be a selection of crafts in a variety of mediums, including leatherwork, jewelry, photography, and painting.
A percentage of proceeds from this event will also benefit Asheville Music School. “(Through this) partnership, we have been able to stay true to our goal of inspiring youth musicians and supporting the next generation of Asheville musicians,” says Andrew. The Rock Band from Asheville Music School will play at the festival this year.
“My dream is to host this event for years to come and to see young musicians progress and become part of this amazing music scene here in Asheville and the Southeast,” says Andrew. “Being a musician is so much more than just playing music. It’s being involved in something and creating something with others… I want to be a positive force for this new wave of young musicians taking over the music scenes!”
Barnaroo runs from 10 a.m. on Saturday to noon on Sunday. Franny’s Farm is located at 22 Franny’s Farm Road in Leicester. Advance day passes are $20 ($35 with camping), and “day of” passes are $25 ($40 with camping). Children under 12 are admitted free of charge. For tickets, volunteer information, full lineup, and more, visit ashevillebarnaroo.com.